Patterico's Pontifications


Rahm’s Residency Problems Continue

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:36 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Rahm Emanuel has said he wanted to run for Mayor of Chicago.  Only there was one small problem: he had to be a resident of Chicago for a year prior to taking office.  And he had stayed in Washington, D.C. long enough to put that into doubt.  Recently I saw where Emanuel tried to claim that despite his lack of, you know, presence, he was still a resident for purposes of the statute.  Now this is not as laughable as you might think.  Many times when the law talks about your domicile or residency, it is not about where you presently live, but where you intend to live, long term.  For instance, I have been allowed to do something similar for tax purposes, claiming to be a Texan through my years in law school in Connecticut and even working outside of Texas and thus being able to avoid state income taxes.  So depending on how the statute has been written, that might pass muster.  I won’t pretend to know.

But even if Rahm is right on the law, there is one teensy-weensy problem: the facts.  We will let NBC Chicago explain:

When Rahm Emanuel originally filed his 2009 Illinois tax return, he indicated he was only a “part-year resident’’ of the state that year, since he had moved to Washington D.C. to serve as President Obama’s chief of staff.

But after he decided to return to Chicago to run for mayor this fall — and after several people challenged whether he was eligible to run based on the fact that he hadn’t lived in the city for a full-year prior to the Feb. 2 election — he filed an amended return, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The original return’s statements regarding part-year residency were not accurate,” Emanuel and his wife wrote in a return filed Nov. 24. “The amended returns make clear that we were full-year residents of Illinois in 2009. … We are also full-year residents of Illinois in 2010.”

So, even if his “I intended to return” theory works as a matter of interpretation, he has a serious factual problem.  One can look at the original tax return as an admission that he was no longer a resident of Chicago, and his belated amendment as nothing more than an attempt to cover up his mistake.

Of course that all assumes that this determination will be decided by applying the facts to the law, a dubious proposition in Chicago politics.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

24 Responses to “Rahm’s Residency Problems Continue”

  1. Ugh.

    I have the same problem with this as I did with Mr. Cheney’s claim to be a resident of Wyoming despite having lived and worked in Texas for years – retroactively declaring past intent in order to work around residency rules is cheating.

    Mr. Emmanuel isn’t eligible to run for mayor. End of Story.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  2. Last week, Lynn Sweet had a somewhat confusing blog post about Rahm’s residency.

    I checked out his Washington rented home in the Woodley Park neighborhood, across the street from the Washington National Cathedral.

    For those trying to make a case that Emanuel moved permanently to Washington: the car in his driveway has Illinois plates
    . According to the Illinois Secretary of State, the car, described as a “2009 Mercury” on Illinois records, is registered to Emanuel at his new Chicago address: 754 N. Milwaukee.

    That’s where Emanuel moved to because the home he owns at 4228 N. Hermitage was rented to one Rob Halpin after Emanuel relocated to Washington to serve as President Obama’s chief of staff. The car title registration is still at the Hermitage address. The vehicle is leased to Emanuel, according to state records. The car was never registered anywhere else.

    She seems to be trying to make the case that because Rahm’s car is still registered in Illinois, he didn’t move permanently to DC.

    But….his car is at his home in DC. Months after he quit his job there. Doesn’t that indicate that he’s kind of moved there?

    David Epstein (081489)

  3. I second what David Epstein said.

    MayBee (081489)

  4. I had Texas plates forever and I still paid California income tax.

    I feel foolish now.

    happyfeet (c0d821)

  5. Rahm is such a slimeball that I hope they disqualify him, but it being Chicago, you never know who has greased who.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  6. If I understand the law correctly (and no one does here at this point, hence the multiple lawsuits), only military personnel are exempt from the strict residency requirement. Now I hear that Rahm’s attorneys are arguing that because he served at the President’s side, that should count as service to the country. Way to insult the men and women who actually put their lives on the line every day in serving their country, Mr. I – send – dead – fishes – to – political rivals.

    Dmac (498ece)

  7. It really doesn’t matter what the law says or how it is interpreted or any other thing.

    Rahm says he was and is a resident of Chicago. He was the President’s chief of staff.

    He will be the next mayor of Chicago. Ipso facto.

    Ag80 (e828a4)

  8. Off Topic: (please pardon me) I was just reading about the Swiss bombers whose devices went off prematurely, and I wondered if there isn’t a ray of sunshine here for the FBI. Instead of giving dummy bombs to would-be jihadists in the US, like they did in Portland, maybe it would work better to give them reeeeallly sensitive bombs. Then everybody would be happy. They get their 72 virgins – nobody else gets killed – and the FBI doesn’t get accused of entrapment!

    Gesundheit (aab7c6)

  9. On a related note: the MiamiDade County Property Appraiser’s office has ruled that OJ Simpson can validly claim a homestead exemption (which is supposed to be for the house in which you actually live)for his home in Miami, despite the fact that he is currently located in Nevada–and that the only way he can lose the exemption is to rent it out to someone.

    kishnevi (d04361)

  10. OK, back to the regularly scheduled program…

    I don’t care where Rahm Emmanuel lives. If the people of Chicago elect him as their mayor, then they deserve him. Hey… If he doesn’t get stuck in Chicago, then he’s just gonna be somewhere else. You want him in YOUR state?

    Gesundheit (aab7c6)

  11. #1, aphrael, what was your problem with Cheney? Where does the constitution say how long you must be a citizen of a state before electors from your former state, having voted for a citizen of their state, may also vote for you?

    Also, in all the years that he lived in Texas, had he ever moved his voter registration there? Or did he continue to be registered and to vote in Wyoming? I don’t know the answer. But if the latter is true, then I really don’t see any potential problem. As Aaron says, where your legal residence is is mostly a matter of your intentions. When Bill and Hillary Clinton moved in to the White House, they had no address in Arkansas, but they remained citizens of that state until they decided to move to New York.

    #2, If he were really a resident of DC he should have registered his car there. Driving a car with Illinois plates indicates that he saw himself as an Illinois resident. The only problem here is the tax return that said he was only a part time resident; does the statute say that’s not enough? I don’t know.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  12. Back amending tax returns should not convince anyone.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  13. Milhouse @11 – Cheney voted in Texas but switched it and his residency back to Wyoming three and a half months before the election in 2000. It was due to a lawsuit based on an obscure law challenging the Republican ticket’s ability to count electoral votes from Texas with two candidates from the same state running. The lawsuit lost and the local, appellate and SC level.

    The law was probably not enforceable anyway.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  14. thats what he gets for being a typical liberal cheapskate, screwed himself in his effort to save couple bucks.

    he pulled some other cheapskate behavior in israel while on a visit last year, not wanting to pay a restuarant bill and saying it was being paid by the israeli government.

    cheap bastard. its cought up with him

    rumcrook (4a9bee)

  15. It’s Chicago politics. Ballerina Boy will be on the ballot.

    Laws are for chumps, eh?

    Jones (72b0ed)

  16. #13, Um, that “obscure law” is the constitution, and it is absolutely enforceable. Had Cheney remained a citizen of Texas, the Texas electors would have had to choose between him and Bush; they could not vote for both. Since they would, of course, have voted for Bush, they would have had to vote for someone else for vice president, which would have thrown the election of vice president to the Senate. Which, at the time, was split 50-50 with Algore in the chair with a casting vote.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  17. Daleyrocks, Milhouse: I would read the constitution to say that citizenship for purposes of the electoral college is determined at the time that candidacy is declared, at the very latest.

    Otherwise it’s a pointless provision: if you can simply redeclare your citizenship at will the day before the election, then the provision has no teeth.

    That said, Daleyrocks is right that it’s unenforceable, for all practical purposes. Someone sued, and the federal court which heard the case ruled it to be a nonjusticiable political question. Meaning ‘enforcement’ would have to come in the form of a challenge to the reading of the electoral votes in the Congress.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  18. My understanding is that cheney always maintained a residence, though not a “primary” one in minnesota, likely for tax purposes.

    Douglas (2c3ce5)

  19. point of order: as we’ve seen recently, constitutional requirements for citizenship, etc, don’t mean anything any more.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  20. but it being Chicago, you never know who has greased who.

    we do know that the voters never get greased… 8)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  21. My only question – and the one that I think will more fully answer this question beyond tax returns and the tags on his car – is as follows:

    Where is he registered to vote?

    If Chicago, then he’ll get past this, as it could easily be argued that he has at the least retained a personal interest in state and local matters. If DC, he’s boned.

    The Departed (d027b8)

  22. “Where is he registered to vote?”

    Silly question. He is a Democrat. He is registered in both places.

    Does he own a home in DC. If so is he claiming the Homestead Tax exemption.

    Davod (bce08f)

  23. Aphrael, what is this “candidacy”, and how is it “declared”? The constitution knows of no such thing. How can a press conference on an arbitrarily chosen date, announcing ones intention to do something at some future time, be of constitutional significance? More to the point, you seem to be assuming that the constitutional clause in question places some burden or restriction on people who’ve made known their desire to be president or vice president (whom we know colloquially as “candidates”). It doesn’t. The restriction is directed at the electors, and only at the electors.

    You do realise, don’t you, that there is no constitutional bar to a president and vice president being from the same state? Had the framers (either of the original constitution or the 12th amendment) wanted to impose such a bar they could easily have done so. They could have required that electors vote for two people from different states. They didn’t impose such a restriction, because they saw no reason to.

    Instead, the only restriction they imposed was that electors vote for at least one person from some other state than their own. They didn’t want electors to be so parochial that they vote only for their own compatriots, whom they know well. They didn’t want Congress to be confronted by 13 sets of ballots, each for a pair of candidates from that state. They wanted to make electors broaden their horizons and consider candidates from other states; so they required them to vote for at least one such person. If they voted for two people from other states, so much the better; what difference does it make if they’re both from the same other state?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  24. Forget it, Jake. It’s Chicago.

    mojo (8096f2)

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